23 August 1940

23 August 1940

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23 August 1940



The Blitz

Night of 23/24 August: German bombers attack London

Stamford American (Stamford, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 23, Ed. 1 Friday, August 23, 1940

Weekly newspaper from Stamford, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.

Physical Description

eight pages : ill. page 22 x 18 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.

Creation Information


This newspaper is part of the collection entitled: Stamford Area Newspaper Collection and was provided by the Stamford Carnegie Library to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 14 times. More information about this issue can be viewed below.

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Over 100 years since its inception, The Stamford Carnegie Library still holds true to the foundations of Andrew Carnegie’s original vision and beyond, merging traditional principles of enlightenment with the modern terms of today. The Library gives residents of all ages free and equal access to a secure and dynamic environment encouraging lifelong learning.

This Was Brainerd - Aug. 23

Brainerd's Nancy Christianson won't forget her trip to Reno, Nevada where she competed in the WIBC National bowling tournament. Christianson, who has bowled before in national tourneys, is now the 17 th best bowler in the nation in Division II. Her games of 208, 208, 191 for 607 earned her prize money of $533.

Gas prices in Brainerd rose yesterday for the second consecutive day, by a total of six cents to a price of $1.31 per gallon. Military trouble in the Middle East is the culprit, but consumers aren't happy. Some call it a “rip-off.” Leo Moran of Reichert Bus says every penny increase costs his firm $2,000.

(Photos) Kolette Kobler of Kansas netted this 6-4 largemouth bass while using a salamander for bait. She was fishing in 15 feet of water. Royal Karels, a Brainerd fishing guide, hooked this 7-1 largemouth in 12 feet of water using a Jig-Mr. Twister worm for bait. It's one of the largest of the season.

Wild rice buyers who are members of the Mille Lacs Maple Products Assn. have decided to crack down on persons selling adulterated wild rice. A number of buyers told of buying rice with oats mixed in. Wild rice is going for 45 cents a pound while oats are selling for 60 cents a bushel.

(Adv.) Our meat – every cut guaranteed to satisfy! Lean Pork Steak – lb. 16 cents Fancy Strip Bacon – lb. 14 cents Bacon Squares – lb. 8 cents Pickled Pigs Feet – quart jar 23 cents Fancy Beef Roast – lb. 24 cents Fresh Ground Beef – lb. 17 cents. National Tea Co. Food Stores.

The gas situation in Brainerd has deteriorated further as the gas company has refused to make gas at the $3 rate with a $2 minimum as recommended by Con O'Brien's customer committee. The city council has stepped in to demand the company produce gas within 30 days or lose its franchise.

Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

On August 23, 1864, the Union navy captured Fort Morgan, Alabama, breaking the Confederate dominance of the ports of the Gulf of Mexico. As the Union fleet of four ironclad and fourteen wooden ships sailed into the channel on August 5, one of the lead ships, the Tecumseh, hit a mine, at the time known as a “torpedo.”

Portrait of Rear Admiral David G. Farragut, officer of the Federal Navy. Brady National Photographic Portrait Galleries, between 1860 and 1865. Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints. Prints & Photographs Division Farragut’s Flagship Hartford. c1905. Detroit Publishing Company. Prints & Photographs Division

In reply to the warning, “Torpedoes ahead!” given by the forward ships, commander Admiral David Farragut called out, “Damn the torpedoes!” and, taking the lead with his flagship the Hartford, sailed over the double row of mines and into Mobile Bay.

H. H. Lloyd & Co’s. Campaign Military Charts Showing the Principal Strategic Places of Interest. Egbert L.Viele and Charles Haskins, military and civil engineers New York: H. H. Lloyd & Co., c1861. Military Battles and Campaigns. Geography & Map Division

The Union army used this chart, which includes sixteen maps of strategic areas of the United States. Use the zoom feature for a closer view of the section showing the Mobile Bay area and its forts.

Although the bottom of the ship scraped the mines, none exploded, and the rest of the fleet followed Farragut’s flagship to victory in the engagement with the Confederate flotilla. During the next weeks, the Union Navy consolidated its hold on the bay by dispersing and capturing Southern ships and tightening the blockade. With the surrender of Fort Morgan, the Union was able to cut the South off from its overseas supply routes.

A Southerner who lived through the Civil War remembered the effects of the Union’s coastline blockade:

…we had to get our cotton to Brownsville during the war and send it through Mexico to the markets in Europe…. One could see, the long wagon trains of cotton…as they slowly mended their way to the Mexican border…the Texas ports were blockaded and all the time enemies were on the watch to confiscate produce of any kind, and especially cotton…

[Mr. Edwin Punchard]. Miss Effie Cowan, interviewer Riesel, Texas, ca 1936-40. American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1940. Manuscript Division

Others recounted tales of the privations caused by the blockade and the makeshifts necessitated by them:

We scraped the salt from the floor of the old smoke houses that were used in the days before the war when all those things were so plentiful.

[Sarah Ann Poss Pringle]. Miss Effie Cowan, interviewer Marlin, Texas, ca 1936-40. American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1940. Manuscript Division

Everybody had to use parched wheat, parched okra seed or parched raw sweet potato chips for coffee. Not even tea came in. We used sassafras and other native herb teas both daily and at parties when the herb teas were in season. Some were good, but the substitute coffee was not.

[At Christmas Times]. Mrs. Ida Baker, interviewee Caldwell Sims, interviewer Spartanburg, South Carolina, Jan. 12, 1938. American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1940. Manuscript Division

23 August 1940 - History

Soviet Russia' Foreign Minister Molotov signs the Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact while German Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop and Soviet leader Josef Stalin look on, while standing under a portrait of Lenin – August 23, 1939. News of the Pact stunned the world and paved the way for the beginning of World War II with Hitler assured his troops would not have to fight a war on two fronts.

Text of the Nazi-Soviet Pact

The Government of the German Reich and The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Desirous of strengthening the cause of peace between Germany and the U.S.S.R., and proceeding from the fundamental provisions of the Neutrality Agreement concluded in April, 1926 between Germany and the U.S.S.R., have reached the following Agreement:

Article I. Both High Contracting Parties obligate themselves to desist from any act of violence, any aggressive action, and any attack on each other, either individually or jointly with other Powers.

Article II. Should one of the High Contracting Parties become the object of belligerent action by a third Power, the other High Contracting Party shall in no manner lend its support to this third Power.

Article III. The Governments of the two High Contracting Parties shall in the future maintain continual contact with one another for the purpose of consultation in order to exchange information on problems affecting their common interests.

Article IV. Neither of the two High Contracting Parties shall participate in any grouping of powers whatsoever that is directly or indirectly aimed at the other party.

Article V. Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties over problems of one kind or another, both parties shall settle these disputes or conflicts exclusively through friendly exchange of opinion or, if necessary, through the establishment of arbitration commissions.

Article VI. The present Treaty is concluded for a period of ten years, with the proviso that, in so far as one of the High Contracting Parties does not advance it one year prior to the expiration of this period, the validity of this Treaty shall automatically be extended for another five years.

Article VII. The present Treaty shall be ratified within the shortest possible time. The ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin. The Agreement shall enter into force as soon as it is signed.

[The section below was not published at the time the above was announced.]

Secret Additional Protocol.

On the occasion of the signature of the Non-Aggression Pact between the German Reich and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics the undersigned plenipotentiaries of each of the two parties discussed in strictly confidential conversations the question of the boundary of their respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. These conversations led to the following conclusions:

Article I. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and U.S.S.R. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilna area is recognized by each party.

Article II. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish State, the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narev, Vistula and San.

The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish State and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments.

In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement.

Article III. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares its complete political disinterest in these areas.

Article IV. This Protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret.

Moscow, August 23, 1939.

For the Government of the German Reich

v. Ribbentrop

Plenipotentiary of the Government of the U.S.S.R.

V. Molotov

(Photo credit: U.S. National Archives)

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Haw-Haw and Radio War: Fake News in the 1940s

Fake news is a feature of the ‘post-truth’ world, which we are supposed to have entered some time last year between the EU referendum and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The phenomenon has become so huge that last week Channel 4 devoted a whole week of programming to the subject.

Given the centrality of social media to the current whirlwind of half-truths and misinformation, one could be forgiven for thinking that fake news was a symptom of the internet age. But fake news long predates the internet, and was in fact used as a weapon of war.

During the Second World War, both the Allied and the Axis powers used the radio, the mass media of the day, for propaganda purposes on the Home Front and overseas, but the Nazis devised an altogether more terrifying and sophisticated method of radio propaganda. Using clandestine techniques acquired during the Spanish Civil War and employed during the invasion of France, the Nazis engaged in intense psychological warfare on the British people over the radio. 1

William Joyce, better known as ‘Lord Haw-Haw’, so dubbed for the gentlemanly sneer of his accent, was the most infamous of Nazi propaganda broadcasters. 2 Joyce, formerly of Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, had left Britain for Germany on 26 August 1939 and quickly got a job in the Propaganda Ministry as broadcaster on the Nazi’s foreign language services.

With an estimated listenership of 6 million, Joyce’s broadcasts were a triumphalist form of fake news, full of doom and exaggeration, designed to create fear and confusion. 3 Some terrified listeners became convinced Lord Haw-Haw was omniscient, claiming he could correctly predict future bombing targets and even possessed exact knowledge of how many minutes fast or slow their town clock was. 4

While only rumours, these stories testify to the self-perpetuating power of fake news. 5 Recordings of Joyce’s broadcasts can be found on YouTube and, with a little effort, one can imagine how terrifying the grainy fascist boasting must have sounded in the context of the fall of France in June 1940 and a much-feared future Nazi invasion of Great Britain.

The Nazis also ran a number of stations from the Concordia Offices in Berlin as part of the English language section of the Reichsrundfunk Gesellschaft (RRG). There was the ‘patriotic’ station, the New British Broadcasting Service (NBBS), first appearing on 25 February 1940, and the ‘socialist’ station, Workers’ Challenge, appearing in July 1940. For Scottish listeners there was Radio Caledonia, appearing in July 1940, and for Christian pacifists there was the Christian Peace Movement (CPM), first monitored by the BBC in August 1940.

The stations were run by Joyce, who recruited the broadcasters from prisoner-of-war camps and even wrote and edited the scripts. 6 The character of the stations was meticulously targeted at what the Nazis considered dissident groups. All were predicated on a lie, purporting to be run by ordinary Britons broadcasting from inside Britain and often claiming to represent a larger anti-war activist network. The propaganda on each station was defeatist and the themes were broadly similar, with William Joyce’s extreme anti-Semitism peppered throughout all scripts.

Fake news and propaganda went hand-in-hand. In July 1940, the NBBS broadcast ‘information’ on First Aid and Air Raid Precautions which was really a thinly veiled collection of horror stories about gruesome injuries that would be sustained in the event of an air raid. 7

The official response to these stations aimed to deny them publicity. Without mentioning the stations by name, the BBC organised a campaign against misinformation, declaring in one broadcast on 1 July 1940 that ‘The spreading of false instructions – as well as of false news is of course, a favourite device of the enemy.’ 8 British morale survived this bombardment and many of these stations ceased broadcasting by April 1945 or earlier. Fake news proved fatal for Joyce however, who was executed by hanging by the British government for high treason in January 1946.

Liam Liburd is a currently researching his PhD at the University of Sheffield, entitled ‘Race, Gender and Empire on the British radical right, 1920-1960’. He has conducted research on the centrality of the ‘new fascist man’ in the politics of the British Union of Fascists and also masculinity and anti-fascism in Britain during the interwar period. You can find him on twitter at @Liburd93.

Image: Man listening to the radio, The work of the Ministry of Information during the Second World War – Photographs For Publication, 1942 [via Wikicommons].


“I was on the left-hand gun facing the enemy, from 6 p.m., 22nd, till we were overrun about 2 p.m., 23rd, after I had been hit by one bullet in the foot and several small pieces of metal about the face and arms I went back for four boxes of ammunition about 7 a.m. 23rd, and Godley and Jerry Ford were having eggs and coffee under a bridge where cattle pass from one field to another. On going back to my gun along the railway lines a German Taube flew overhead.

I was No. 3 of the gun team Nos. 1 and 2 had disappeared so I took over and stayed until my gun was put out of action, firstly by bullets in the water jacket, and the trigger bar breaking. Meanwhile Pte. (Way) Marshall had been killed. Cpl. Parmenter took over and we engaged some snipers in a row of houses to the right of Nimy Railway Station, and then two machine guns which were brought up on either side of two round haystacks. These were the right-hand gun and were silenced also wounded Sgt. Haylock, Capt. Ashburner, C.O. C Coy, and Lieut. Steele.”

An extract from the recollections of Chum Reuben Henry Charles Barnard, who had served with the 4th Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers in 1914, in which he recounted his experiences during the defence of the Mons-Conde Canal at Nimy on 23 August 1914. His letter was printed in The Old Contemptible, No. 429, October 1969.

Born on 26 July 1894 at Forest Gate in Essex, L/14891 Private Reuben Barnard had been employed as a page boy prior to joining the Army. Posted to the 4th Battalion, he had represented his unit at cross-country running while stationed at Albany Barracks in Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight and served with the Machine-Gun Section. He was wounded and taken prisoner following the fighting at Nimy.

In 1977, Barnard gave a more detailed account of his experiences on 23 August 1914 to Robin McNish, which was included in his book ‘Iron Division: The History of the 3rd Division’ published the following year:

“We had a gun posted on either side of the railway running over the bridge. I was on the left gun, as Number 3 – the ammunition number. We had mounted the guns the night before and protected them with sacks from a nearby flour mill, filled with shingle.

The first I saw of the Germans was one of their aeroplanes flying low over us at about 7 a.m., the pilot looking down at us. I remember the plane had wings shaped like a bird’s. Shortly after, enemy infantry advanced down the railway line, and we and the rifle platoon near us shot them to pieces. Next we were heavily shelled, many of our men being hit, and by 8 a.m. I had taken over as Number 1 on the gun. The Germans occupied a row of houses about 400 yards away and started firing at us. I ignored the usual drill of “tapping” the gun left and right – I just loosened the clamp and sprayed the windows backwards and forwards – and there was no more firing from those houses.

The section continued to suffer casualties. I saw both Lieutenant Dease and Sergeant Haycock (sic) fall – they had been controlling the guns from the middle of the bridge. I was the only man left on my gun, and all the crew of the other had been knocked out, so Corporal Parmenter, the section Corporal, took it over. I had just seen two enemy machine gun teams move to a hayrick half right, so I shouted to Parmenter – “You take the right, I’ll take the left.” We pumped them, and they never opened fire.

We kept on engaging other targets, but at some stage I got wounded in the foot, and I seemed to be black and blue all over from splinters. The gun was also hit twice, and jammed, but I managed to clear the stoppages. Finally sometime about midday the gun was hit again and stopped completely. I gave the rest of my ammo to some riflemen nearby, and crawled to the bottom of the railway embankment. I couldn’t move back when the rest of the battalion withdrew later. The Germans came up the railway, and my foot was bandaged by two young Danish medical orderlies. Then a German N.C.O. arrived and I thought he was going to strike me, but a German officer on the embankment ordered him not to, and I shouted up “Thank You.” He shouted back “All’s fair in Love and War”.’

Private Barnard was reported as wounded in the Casualty List published on 17 September 1914 and spent some of his time in captivity at Sennelager. After returning home from captivity after the Armistice, Barnard continued to serve with The Royal Fusiliers and was sent his 1914 Star by post on 11 July 1919. He was issued with the service number 6450243 in 1920. He was sent the Clasp and Roses for his 1914 Star on 7 January 1921, but these were returned as undelivered. The emblems were reissued on 10 February 1921. Barnard was sent a duplicate 1914 Star with clasp on 21 November 1940, and was reissued with replacement medals again on 26 November 1952. Chum Reuben Barnard was a member of the Southend-on-Sea Branch of The Old Contemptibles Association and worked as a boilerman at the General Hospital. He married Bertha Victoria Louisa Sharp at Southend in 1919. After a period of separation they married for a second time in 1949 and lived at 142 Archer Avenue. Bertha died at the General Hospital in Southend on 11 October 1961 and in 1962 Reuben married Minnie Dance.

Chum Reuben Barnard died in 1980.

The other members of the Machine-Gun Section whom Chum Barnard identified in his accounts of the fighting on the railway bridge at Nimy, as well as Lieutenant Maurice Dease V.C. and Private Sidney Frank Godley V.C., included:

L/13342 Private Herbert Ford was born at Bow in 1888 and was the son of George and Elizabeth Ford. He had joined The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) in 1908 and served with the 4th Battalion after completing his training at the Regimental Depot. Ford transferred to the Machine Gun Corps on 30 January 1916 on posting to 9th Brigade Machine Gun Company. Promoted to Sergeant and awarded the Military Medal and Meritorious Service Medal, Herbert Ford died on 13 March 1919 at No. 36 Casualty Clearing Station after being accidentally shot during battle training at Ehrenfeld while serving with the 3rd Battalion, Machine Gun Corps. His death was reported by The Essex County Chronicle on 28 March:

“Sergt. H. Ford, M.G.C., has died at Cologne from gunshot wounds. His parents live at Selborne Avenue, Manor Park, and his wife at 27 Audley Road, Ilford. Deceased, who was accidentally shot, had seen 11 years’ service in the Army, and possessed the M.M. and M.S.M.”

He is buried at Cologne Southern Cemetery: Plot III, Row C, Grave 16.

L/15364 Private Arthur Joseph Marshall was not killed on 23 August but was wounded and taken prisoner. He had joined The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) on 26 December 1912 Private Marshall was repatriated on 17 February 1915 and discharged due to wounds on 14 June 1915, being later issued with a Silver War Badge. His 1914 Star was sent to him by post on 9 July 1919.

Private Marshall had recounted some of his experiences of the action on the railway bridge in a letter sent to the sister of Lieutenant Maurice Dease V.C.:

“. All went well (on the bridge) until we saw some German cavalry galloping across our front and “C” Coy. (“Y” Company) opened fire upon them and when they ceased firing, a German cavalry officer came and gave himself up as prisoner. Shortly afterwards we saw some Germans dodging about between some houses and your brother told a Private to lay the gun on the space between the houses and when we saw the Germans again to open fire. We fired and in about half an hour the Private got wounded in the head, and your brother told him to go and get it bandaged up and then I took over the gun and then I saw the Germans advancing towards us. ”

L/14592 Corporal Harry Parmenter was also taken prisoner on 25 August 1914. He was born at Shenfield in Essex on 31 May 1891 and had joined The Royal Fusiliers in 1911. Parmenter was nominally on the strength of “Y” (“C”) Company of the 4th Battalion but was a member of the Machine-Gun Section. Following his capture Corporal Parmenter was sent to Doebertiz and was repatriated via Holland in February 1919.

L/8422 Sergeant Francis Edward Haylock was born at Walton in Norfolk in 1883 and had attested for The Royal Fusiliers in 1900, serving with the 4th Battalion in Ireland and England. Sergeant Haylock was wounded on 23 August 1914 and was taken prisoner two days later. He was also sent to Doebertiz and was repatriated from Holland following the Armistice. Appointed a Company Quartermaster-Sergeant, Frank Haylock was issued with the regimental number 6449778 in 1920 but died on 23 November 1923.

On this day: Russia in a click

On August 23, 1935, a decree was issued by the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee about erecting red stars on top of the Kremlin towers, in place of the imperial two-headed eagles.

The eagles crowned the towers of the Moscow Kremlin until the 1930s, 13 years after the monarchy had been overthrown - though Vladimir Lenin, according to one of the Kremlin officials, “demanded that the eagles be removed and was very annoyed that this wasn’t done.” The newly-established Soviet regime was simply out of money and couldn’t afford such costly work.

Reaching a deadlock, the issue was only reconsidered in 1935, when the Communist Party finally decided to erect stars instead of the eagles, right in time for the next anniversary of the October Revolution.

The production of stars was undertaken on a tight schedule besides, no other project on so big a scale had ever been considered before. Joseph Stalin himself kept an eye on the process -- archive documents show the blueprints with his personal notes and remarks on how to enhance the stars to his liking. The final draft was proposed by the chief designer of the Bolshoi Theater.

Hundreds of people of different trades contributed to the project over 20 enterprises were involved in the production of stars, many of them forced to master new production methods and technologies. For example, the steel works had to gild 130 square meters of sheet copper, but a new shop floor had to be designed for it, since no other shop floor in the Soviet Union could house a production of such size.

The first stars were welded out of the highest quality stainless steel and plated with red copper. Every star was adorned by a hammer and sickle on both sides and covered with gems. The total number of stones used for the emblem amounted from 7,000 to 10,000 pieces, according to various sources, with each worth from 20 to 200 carats. The emblems were over 2 yards in width and weighed 530 pounds. More than 200 of the best jewelers from Moscow and Leningrad spent a month and a half cutting gems. Each finished star weighted over one ton. Beautiful though they were, they appeared too heavy for the ancient Kremlin walls. The walls had to be remodeled, reinforced, and steel poles installed inside each tower for the star to be put on top.

These stars however, couldn’t withstand the severe weather conditions and the city’s fumes, and the gems faded and lost their glitter nor could they fit into the Kremlin’s architectural ensemble being too big and heavy, they weighed over the entire construction. After a year on the Kremlin towers, they were removed to be substituted by new, more adapted stars.

The new long-lasting stars were installed in 1937. Instead of the gems, the new stars shone through an electric light bulb installed inside each of them and lit 24 hours a day. Each of the five new stars had two layers of glass: a filmy milky base and a ruby layer on top. The milky base was to add richness to the ruby color, which in the daylight looked black. These new stars were sparkling and glittering just like real rubies, regardless of the weather.

As the lamps were very powerful - up to 5,000 watts - the temperature inside the stars was extremely high and demanded a very advanced ventilation and cooling system. In the case of a shortage, the entire interconnected system automatically shut down to prevent overheating.

The only time the stars were taken off the Kremlin towers was for a major reconstruction after the World War II. Cleaned, remodeled and better lit, they were returned to their original magnificence.

The stars are washed by skilled steel erectors every five years. The scheduled maintenance is held monthly for the equipment’s upkeep the more thorough works take place every eight years.

There have been several proposals to change the stars back to the eagles, but they were not given serious consideration.

Watch the video: Μνήμες u0026 Αφηγήσεις από τον πόλεμο του 1940 (December 2022).

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